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Ad hominem

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The fallacy Ad Hominem (Latin: argumentum ad hominem, "To the Man") is an argument which attacks people holding a contrary view, rather than attacking their view. Constitutes itself as fallacy because the truth or falsity of a position or statement is independent of the character or circumstantial situation of an individual.[1] It is also known as personal attack, personal abuse, damning the source and abusive fallacy among others.[2] For example

  • C: "I'm a creationist because I find flood geology, irreducible complexity, and specified complexity to be convincing arguments;"
  • E: "But you're not a scientist; your opinions are not valid." He has dismissed opinions on the basis of credentials, without ever addressing the merits of the argument.


  • Ad Hominem abusive - In this fallacy, the second person responds to the first person´s argument by verbally abusing the first person.[3]
  • Ad Hominem circumstantial - In this fallacy, instead of accumulating verbal abuse over his opponent, the respondent attempts to discredit the opponent's argument, alluding to certain circumstances that affect the opponent. Wherefore, the respondent seeks to justify that the opponent was biased to argue this way, thus his argument should not be taken seriously.[3]

See Also

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This argument represents a
Ad hominem.
Use the {{fallacy|Ad hominem}} template to insert the above warning on a page containing an example of the Ad hominem fallacy. The template links the warning label to this page.


  1. Bastos, Cleverson L.;Keller, Vicente (1991) (in portuguese). Aprendendo Lógica [Learning Logic] (5th ed.). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes. p. 25. ISBN 85-326-0655-5. 
  2. Bennett, Bo (2012). Logically...Fallacious:The Ultimate Collection of Over 300 Logical Fallacies. Sudbury, MA: p. 17-18. ISBN 978-1-4566-0752-4. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hurley, Patrick J (2008). A Concise Introduction to Logic (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-495-50383-5.